Students’ Union Complaints

Where a complaint is made under the Students’ Unions complaint procedure concerning an employee of the Students’ Union it will be discussed with the Human Resources Manager. If it is considered that the alleged actions by the member of staff may constitute misconduct it will be investigated and progressed in accordance with the Company’s Disciplinary Procedure.

Complaints can be sent to any member of staff, officer or lodged with our general communication email address at SUCustomerService@Cardiff.ac.uk

Stage One

Complaints will be handled within the department where the individual(s) to whom the complaint concerns works. All parties will take a constructive approach with a view to providing a solution and acceptable remedy.

If you are not happy with the result of the complaint under this stage or if the complaint is serious or confidential, it will be dealt with under stage two.

Stage Two

Complaints received by the organisation will be investigated and led by the appropriate Head of Department in relation to the nature of the complaint.

A panel will be convened by the Head of Department and will normally comprise of:

• Head of Department / External Trustee
• Two Sabbatical Trustees / Student Trustees

You will meet with the panel and discuss the complaint so that the panel can fully understand the issues you have raised.  The individual(s) to whom the complaint concerns will be provided a summary of the complaint and given an opportunity to respond to the issues raised.  Both you the complainant and the individual the complaint concerns should be given the opportunity to provide additional information after the initial meeting with the panel.

The panel has discretion to meet with any other individuals that may have witnessed or been party to the complaint. If a student is called to speak to the panel they are entitled to bring a fellow student to support them.

In the case of a complaint made against a society/club, its chair (or nominee) shall represent the society/club.

If you have a good reason for not being able to attend a meeting with the panel, the meeting can be re-arranged. However should you fail to attend two meetings and the panel feel that that you have not provided a suitable reason, the investigation will continue without the meeting.

What will the Panel do?

The panel will review the complaint and decide whether it should be upheld. They will then decide upon any action that should be implemented as a consequence.

During the period between the complaint being received and the panel making a decision, the individual(s) the complaint concerns may be prohibited from accessing services and/or facilities in order to undertake an effective investigation and to avoid risk of harm or distress to staff or students.

Courses of Action

The panel will decide whether to dismiss, partly uphold or fully uphold the complaint after reviewing all appropriate information.

Complaints that are partly or fully upheld will allow the panel to enforce one of the following sanctions:

• a written reprimand; and/or

• a suspension of any or all of the privileges of membership of the Union, which for the avoidance of doubt shall not include the removal from office of any person elected by means of a cross-campus ballot; and/or

• a life ban which shall entail a total ban from Union premises at all times. This shall not interfere with academic commitments or external examinations taking place in the Union; and/or

• if the offence is committed by a member who is a Student and the offence is found to be serious enough, the Student must be referred to the Student Disciplinary Code of the University. Once the University are notified of this, the Student becomes subject to University’s Disciplinary Procedures; and/or

• where the complaint is upheld against a student group, a suspension or privileges of affiliation; and/or

• where the complaint is upheld against a student group, individuals in positions of responsibility or the wider membership may be subject to action as an individual; or

• a dismissal of the allegations.

The panel should make sure that the investigation takes place as soon as possible. A conclusion should normally be reached and communicated within 21 days.

The outcome and sanction shall be provided in writing alongside an explanation to the individual(s) the complaint concerns.

Appeals

If you are not happy with the outcome of the complaint, you are able to submit an appeal under one of the following grounds:

• The Complaints process has not followed the correct procedure; and/or
• New information has become available that for good reason could not be presented during the Complaints Process at the time of the original investigation; and/or
• The actions applied as a result of the investigation are disproportionate

An appeal should be submitted in writing to the Students’ Union President within 7 days of receipt of the outcome of the investigation.

Further Action 

It may be necessary to consider disciplinary action against staff members as a consequence of issues being brought to the attention of the Union via a complaint. In such cases, disciplinary action shall be considered in accordance with the Company’s Disciplinary Policy.